Four women left behind families ... and a mystery

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Cynthia Jean Hinds, 17

Remains found Aug. 15, 1982.

Very little is known about Cynthia Jean Hinds, who was 17 when she disappeared Aug. 11, 1982. Her body was found four days later.

Hinds, born Feb. 23, 1965, was known as "Cookie" to some of her friends. She lived in an apartment in Rainier Valley. Investigators speaking to The Seattle Times in 1982 linked Hinds to the prostitution business. Her death record lists her as single.

A few days after her body was found, Hines' 14-year-old brother, Terry, told The Times that the family had not seen her for two weeks before her disappearance. Terry Hinds said his sister was seen by a neighbor, leaving the family home in Rainier Valley with an unidentified man in a red Cadillac.

A few days later, Terry said, his sister was seen getting out of a similar car and into a black Jeep near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport strip. It was the last time anyone reported seeing Cynthia Hinds.

A Web site describes Hinds and fellow victim Opal Mills as friends who had worked together painting apartments shortly before their murders.

Opal Charmaine Mills, 16

Remains found Aug. 15, 1982.

Opal Charmaine Mills never grew to adulthood.

Murdered in the summer of 1982 after completing ninth grade at Kent Junior High School, Mills didn't get a chance to enter high school.

She was remembered by her family for constantly going on diets, posting on the refrigerator her goals for the weight she would lose and the dresses she would be able to wear.

She wasn't overweight, though, even though she referred to one picture her parents displayed as "my fat picture."

Her parents kept a photograph of her at 8 years old holding a plaque she earned at church for memorizing 50 Bible verses. "She was the more moral of the two of us. She would remind me of what was right, that I shouldn't be doing certain things," her brother, Garrett Mills, said last night.

Opal once walked into a music classroom in middle school and stopped the teacher from spanking her brother.

As the children of a white mother and an African-American father, Opal and Garrett stuck together at a time when few people of color lived in Kent, their hometown.

Garrett Mills called her "the last best friend I've ever had. We were always together, except those last three days."

The body of Mills, believed to be one of the first victims in the Green River killings, was found on a grassy bank of the Green River in Kent.

Her parents were shocked by police and media reports associating victims of the Green River killer with prostitution. Opal Mills, who was never arrested for prostitution, had planned to marry the year she died.

At her funeral, her family played her favorite song, "Love Begins with One Hello."

Her father, Robert Mills, suffered a stroke and died after her death. Her mother, Kathy Mills, has named her Christmas-related craft business after her: Opal Charmaine Crafts.

Marcia Faye Chapman, 31

Remains found Aug. 15, 1982.

Marcia Chapman was a petite woman who weighed just over 100 pounds and stood 5-feet-2. Her stature earned her the nickname "Tiny" from her neighbors at the Puerta Villa apartments near Sea-Tac Airport.

Those who knew her described her as cheerful and outgoing with the air of someone who could take care of herself in a bad situation.

"She was a nice girl," neighbor Don Moore told The Times in 1982. "She would speak to you, stand and talk to you. If she was a prostitute, she was a helluva nice kid."

Chapman was also known as Marcia Faye Bradford, Belinda Jean Chapman and Marcie Woodies. She was arrested for prostitution in the South King County area two months before she was reported missing on Aug. 2, 1982.

Acquaintances said Chapman worked Pacific Highway South, dressed in bluejeans, a T-shirt and a cap, usually starting out at 5 p.m. Prostitution provided for her three children, ages 11, 9 and 3.

"Marcia told kids she was going to store," her mother said in a missing-person report. "Never returned. Never has done anything like this. Good mother."

Carol Ann Christensen, 21

Remains found May 8, 1983.

Carol Ann Christensen, a Montana-born mother of two young girls who was estranged from her husband, had just finished her second shift as a waitress at the Barn Door Tavern on Pacific Highway South. It was May 2, 1983, the last time Christensen was seen alive.

Six days later, her body was found near Maple Valley by a family hunting for mushrooms in a wooded area just off Southeast 244th Street and Highway 169. She'd been strangled.

At the time of her slaying, police differed on whether Christensen should be considered a Green River victim. She had no arrests or contacts with prostitution, but was last seen in an area where the killer was known to operate.

Her body apparently had been dunked in water, then reclothed with a bag placed over the head. Across her body were two cleaned fish. The killer left a wine bottle and raw meat next to her, believed by some to symbolize the Eucharist, the body and blood of Christ.

Seattle Times staff reporters Sara Jean Green, Keith Ervin, Florangela Davila and Kimberly Marlowe compiled these profiles.